Mobility-as-a-Service, Platform Design, and Social Innovation: Lessons from South America


From a social theory perspective, a platform is an infrastructure that affords action. A platform can be a web-based application, a political discourse, a system for biomedical communication, and social media, among other things. But most of all, a platform is a design that can enable but also constrain political, economic, and social possibilities. Platforms are becoming integral elements of urban transport systems, and more recently, platform technology has dominated the debate around the design of Mobility as a Service (MaaS). However, not enough attention is paid to the social engagement of these technologies and how people can hack its glitches and re-design them. Using the analytical framework of ontological design and autonomy in a pluriverses discussion (Escobar, 2018), this study focuses on how people using platforms can challenge preconceptions around what constitutes MaaS, platform ‘technology’ and ‘design’. Focusing on South America, this research has implications for low transport accessibility and high cultural diversity settings in cities and regions worldwide. In this study, I argue that it is necessary to broaden the discussion on issues to consider for designing MaaS systems, observing (and harnessing) emerging microspheres of autonomy and glitchy use. Mainly, what can people’s engagement with platforms teach the ‘experts’ about designing a MaaS that considers people’s capacity to innovate and use platforms in ways that, I argue, escape from traditional engineering and technologically deterministic views of design thinking.


Luis Hernando Lozano Paredes
Student, Doctor of Philosophy (PhD), University of Technology Sydney, Australian Capital Territory, Australia


Presentation Type

Paper Presentation in a Themed Session


Design in Society


Autonomy, Mobility-As-A-Service, Platforms, Re-Design,Technology

Digital Media

This presenter hasn’t added media.
Request media and follow this presentation.